Grieving Family Turns Tragedy into a Mission of DUI Education - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Grieving Family Turns Tragedy into a Mission of DUI Education

Beth West Beth West
Lorri Standley Lorri Standley
David West David West
Dan West Dan West

By Leland Kim

HONOLULU (KHNL) --   Hawaii leads the nation with the highest percentage of alcohol-related fatalities.  It's a sobering reminder, especially during this holiday season.

A mainland family who lost a loved one because of a drunk driver is on a mission to save lives.

David West was a loving son, brother, husband and a father.

"He was the sense of humor in our family," said Beth West, David's mother.

"He was a great guy," added Lorri Standley, David's older sister.  "He was my best friend, my protector."

A drunk driver took his life in January of 2006.

"There's no picking up the pieces again," said Beth West.  "There's no cohesiveness to the family."

"It's life-shattering," said Standley. "It's an empty chair forever. It's a hole in my heart. It's not something I can replace, I can change."

David West died on Lorri's 35th birthday. 

"He was supposed to spend my birthday with me, not viewing him in the morgue," said Standley.

Since then, David's family has been a mission, spreading awareness with magnetic signs that say, "My (Brother/Friend/Son/Sister/Daughter) Was Killed By A Drunk Driver."

They want to make sure people realize they could kill someone if they get behind the wheel after drinking.

"It can happen," said Standley. "I was one of those who thought it couldn't happen. It did. It happened to me. It happened to my brother. It happened to my whole family."

Wth these signs, they hope to save lives, and prevent another tragedy.

"It's a life-long ache. It's an ache," said Standley. "It's the worst ache a person could probably ever experience knowing that it was something preventable by one phone call."

It's a message they hope to spread across the country, to honor David's memory.

"I love him and I miss him and I'm going to fight this fight for him," said Standley.

A sobering message in one of the most dangerous time of the year, in the most dangerous state in the country for DUI's.

David would have been 31 November 30.  He always wanted to come to Hawaii, so his family is here fulfilling his dream and to honor his memory.

To find out more about the magnetic signs, go to the link on this page.

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